Courts & the Law, News

Forgot about judicial redistricting? Don’t worry, it will be back next week

Judicial redistricting and reform seemed to gain a lot of steam during the legislative session earlier this year, but things came to a grinding halt after lawmakers released an eighth and ninth set of maps just before heading home.

Those maps, released in February, redraw prosecutorial, district and superior court districts, which would change the way judges and district attorneys would be elected across the state. The maps were never discussed, and they were dubbed “Option B” and “Option C” — “Option A” was released two weeks prior.

The Joint Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting is set to meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, and while a public agenda has yet to be released, it’s likely members will address the new proposed maps.

It’s also possible, however — given lawmakers’ track record when it comes to judicial redistricting — that they could unveil totally new maps at the meeting.

None of the committee co-chairs – Representatives Justin Burr (R-Stanly, Montgomery) and David Lewis (R-Harnett) and Senators Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg), Warren Daniel (R-Burke, Cleveland) and Bill Rabon (Bladen) – returned an email this week asking about what would be discussed at the meeting.

NC Policy Watch has analyzed all three of the most recently proposed maps, Options A, B and C. You can read about those maps’ legislative and judicial impact here and here.

Another potential judicial reform that could be discussed at the meeting is a merit selection plan that would replace judicial elections with a nomination and appointment process.

The meeting is open to the public and will be held in room 643 of the Legislative Office Building. You can stream audio from the meeting here.

The short legislative session this year starts May 16. Lawmakers have said they plan to take up and possibly vote on judicial redistricting and reform proposals.

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